The headaches started nagging Ryan Sweeney immediately after his spectacular catch. In the hours after making a highlight-reel catch in Philadelphia on May 19, the outfielder started sensing them more frequently.
After the game, Sweeney initially cited whiplash as the cause. But the dazed sensations continued into the following days, forcing the outfielder to shut down baseball activities as a result of mild concussion symptoms.
In order to prevent the painful headaches, Sweeney needed to take a brief step back from baseball.
"I wanted to play, too, but some of the guys were noticing that I was actually acting kind of different the next couple days after I did it," Sweeney said. "A head injury is not really something you want to mess with.
"You're just not yourself. You're just kind of in a daze or whatever and acting like your normal self. The way you go about your business during the day, they noticed that something wasn't right. I was zoned out."
But Sweeney didn't have much of a choice, either. After he failed Major League Baseball's new concussion exams, the Red Sox were forced to place the outfielder on a new seven-day disabled list.
During the first three or four days of the disabled list stint, Sweeney just rested without participating in any exercises. As the stint neared its end, he paced himself in order to return to baseball shape, considering everything is still delicate.
"You’ve got to kind of monitor how much activity you do," Sweeney said. "You can't work, do everything right away the first day. [On Monday], I hit. That's probably about it. I [didn't] lift or anything like that."
Sweeney made his return from his mild concussion Monday against the Tigers, starting in center field alongside Daniel Nava and Adrian Gonzalez.
The Red Sox are also benefiting from Sweeney's presence at the plate. In his first season with the club, Sweeney has sparked the offense in different spots in the order, owning a .311 batting average with 12 RBIs and 14 doubles.
To keep building on those numbers, Sweeney started by taking a step back from baseball to alleviate his headaches.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.
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